How Do I Get Rid of the Magnolia Scale from My Garden?

Get Rid of the Magnolia Scale

The Magnolia scale, also known as Neolecan cornuparvum, is one of the oversize soft scale insects in North America. It measures about 1/2 inch in length, and the sap they drink weakens the magnolias as they feed on it.

Wasps, ants, and insects become attracted to their sticky mess after feeding. Did you find Magnolia Scale? We can help you get rid of them by offering a professional magnolia scale treatment service. The dark, blackened leaves diminish the tree’s visual appeal.

There are several tree species attacked by Magnolia scale:

  • Lily magnolia
  • Star magnolia
  • Cucumber tree magnolia
  • Saucer magnolia

Magnolia Scale: What is It? 

It is probably a fungus based on its name and appearance, and it kills trees by eating them. Upon maturation, female insects move little; they remain stationary on the branches. 

The honeydew they produce can be found on our plants, homes, and cars, allowing molds such as sooty mold to flourish.

Upon maturation, it reaches a length of 1/2 inch, making it an enormous soft-scaled insect in the world. Trees can lose a large amount of sap through a plague, causing them to lose yellow leaves, dead branches, stunted growth, and even death.

A waxy matter is secreted over their bodies to defend themselves. The males, which are approximately 1/8″ long and white, look similar to microscopic flies. They are also smaller and more active than their female counterparts.

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Life Cycle:

When crawlers are still in their early stages, they are called crawlers after emerging from their mothers’ bodies. They eat and multiply on tree branches during the winter.

It is much more effective at this stage to use insecticides than it is once they have matured. While the young are still developing, it is wise to target them. In adult males, their color lightens, but their size remains about the same. Shortly later, they breed, die within a few days, and cause slight damage.

Bugs that grow large, attach themselves to trees, and eat sap differ from females. They are white at first, but their color has transformed to a purplish-brown hue by the end of July. It will be August or early September before the crawlers emerge from their mother’s body.

So, many gardeners check their trees in autumn to see if they have insects attached to them. But, the trees are only covered in old insect shells.

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Here are Some Symptoms and Signs to Watch Out For:

When you see mature bodies, you can see them because they’re so tiny. It is common for fully developed male bodies to be covered with wax and more extensive. This covers a variety of colors, from brown to white, depending on their age.

Many people mistake a magnolia scale for a fungus since it has no distinguishing features revealing insects.

This sticky honeydew is another sign of an infestation left by these enquiring creatures. A layer of shiny, sticky droplets near your home or car may state a problem with your trees.

Mold that develops from honeydew buildups over time is called sooty mold, which is black, powdery mold.

You may have an aphid infestation if you notice tiny insects on the undersides of the leaves of your tree. But its branches do not appear damaged. The lumps on the stem are probably the magnolia scales if they have several white or brown lumps. 

Yellow leaves and dying branches are also signs of a severe infestation, so keep an eye out for them.

Is There a Cost Associated with Magnolia Tree Pest Control? 

Suppose you find a tree scale on your magnolia. A Magnolia Scale Program will depend on the canopy size and trunk diameter at ground level in that case. A professional magnolia scale treatment should be contacted as soon as possible based on the number of trees affected.

You can maintain a tree’s health by regularly taking pictures and measuring its circumference. We can quickly provide you with a treatment plan and price. 

In addition to helping protect your trees, you can do this during this time. Soft, dull plastic knives are perfect for removing the scale from the lower portions of the tree. And heavy water blasts can knock leaves from the branches higher up. 

Be cautious when using pressure washers. It is possible to damage the soft bark of the Magnolia tree with pressure.

The Euonymus Scale, but these insects, are observed on the leaves and stems of these shrubs as tiny white flakes. The landscaping value of these shrubs will determine whether to transplant or treat them.

What is the Most Efficient Way to Eliminate the Magnolia Scale? 

1. Gardner’s:

Gardeners who don’t know how to execute a plan correctly can cut and avoid the Magnolia scale. If the correct tools are available, it will be easier to eliminate and prevent the Magnolia scale. 

2. It is Necessary to Remove Adult Females Manually

Rubber gloves should be used to remove leaves without damaging the tree’s branches.

3. Dispose of Them as Soon as They Crawl:

In autumn, you have the best chance of seeing them. 

Due to the death of most female insects, insecticides and natural insecticides no longer work.

Suppose you suspect that crawlers are hiding in the trees. You can cut small branches if the infestation is minimal. An insecticide spray should be applied.

4. A Soap That Kills Insects:

You can get rid of crawlers without using heavy chemicals from insecticidal soaps. However, mature females are not affected much by them. 

5. Horticultural Oils: 

Horticultural oils are recommended as a safe and effective way to kill premature babies. In spring, horticultural oil can target crawlers that are ready to feast.

It won’t be possible for them to take over since you’ll stop them in their tracks. Thoroughly cover the leaves so that nymphs do not survive the winter.

6. Dormant Oil: 

The first few weeks of spring can also spray dormant oil to smooth the nymphs over the winter

7. Get Rid of the Affected Branches:

Scales are only found in a few twigs or ends of branches. So, you can prune away the scale infestation by destroying the stems. When you have an infestation at an early stage, this solution usually works well.

Treatment Success: What to Look for?

When trying to eradicate magnolia scales, you may need to use more than one application. A healthy tree will be free of fungi and have scale insects on the ground if the treatment is successful.

Getting rid of the magnolia scale on your own is difficult. The most effective way to remove Magnolia scales is professional magnolia scale treatment.


Articles written above discuss how to recognize its life cycle and symptoms and how to deal with them.

Various methods are provided to help you control them fast.

Dustin Pope

Dustin Pope, the President of Tree Doctor, wisdom is stored in the optimum health of the trees, plants, and shrubs in the landscape of San Diego. He is very passionate about creating awareness for tree health management and educating people about the consequences of ignoring the unique tree healthcare needs. He believes in sustainable results using advanced environmentally-friendly technology. He loves to write about tree and plant health care problems, insect and disease diagnosis and treatment, soil and root care, making people aware through his experience, and keeping the San Diego County landscape healthy and beautiful. Stay tuned with the recent articles to know all about harmful insects and diseases hampering tree health, tree nutrients, soil care, root management, deep root fertilization, and other stress to trees.